welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is gavin grey. our top stories: moscow makes its move — 23 british diplomats are expelled in the stand—off with the uk over the chemical attack on yulia and sergei skripal. syrians flee fighting in huge numbers — almost 250,000 are reported to have been driven from their homes in the last week. us officials investigate claims that a political consultancy mishandled facebook users‘ data in a bid to support president trump's election campaign. severe weather in britain leaves clifftop homes in danger of collapsing into the sea. also coming up in the programme, landmarks light up and rivers run green as people across the world soak up st patrick's day celebrations. hello and welcome to bbc news.
i'm gavin grey. russia says it will expel 23 british diplomats in response to britain's decision to throw out the same number of russian officials following the nerve agent attack in salisbury. the british prime minister theresa may says the government had anticipated the kremlin‘s move and is considering its next steps. 0ur correspondent steve rosenberg reports from moscow. he had been expecting the telephone call, and today it came. britain's ambassador was summoned to the russian foreign ministry, and in the skyscraper that joseph stalin built as a symbol of a superpower, the ambassador was told how moscow would retaliate for uk sanctions. a note of defiance when he left. we will always do what is necessary to defend ourselves,
our allies, and our values against an attack of this sort, which is an attack not only on the united kingdom, but upon the international rules—based system on which all countries, all countries including russia, depend for their safety and security. thank you. the ambassador headed into work to tell embassy staff about the russian sanctions. moscow says they are a response to british provocation. russia has expelled 23 british diplomats. the uk had expelled 23 russians over the nerve agent attack in salisbury. the authorities here are shutting down the british consulate in st petersburg, and the british council, which promotes uk culture abroad, will now be forced to end all activity in russia. moscow says the language coming out of london was a factor when deciding what sanctions to announce. translation: the british prime minister insults us and threatens us. her foreign and defence secretaries insult us.
they talk to russia as if they're drunk in a pub. so what the uk got from us today is the result of this loutishness, and their groundless accusations. not so, said theresa may. russia's response doesn't change the facts of the matter — the attempted assassination of two people on british soil, for which there is no alternative conclusion other than that the russian state was culpable. relations between moscow and london haven't been this fractured since the cold war. the expulsion of 23 british diplomats — that was expected, that is traditional tit—for—tat. but the shutting down of a consulate and the activities of the british council — that feels like a challenge to the british government. and the russians have said that, if britain responds with more measures against moscow, then russia will respond with more sanctions against the uk. the danger now is a spiral of confrontation. steve rosenberg, bbc news, moscow.
well, as the diplomatic spat between the uk and russia deepens, the bbc‘s diplomatic correspondent, james robbins, says britain faces a tough choice when deciding what to do next. well, it's clear that theresa may and her ministers do face a dilemma. she has made clear that they'll consider the issue of possible further sanctions, probably next tuesday when the national security council has its regular weekly meeting. the dilemma is, do they interpret the expulsion of 23 britons from russia as a simple tit—for—tat parity, or do they think the russians have gone too far by adding the closure of the consulate in st petersburg, and perhaps actually more significantly, the complete closure of british council operations in russia. that's significant because it's the way in which britain tries to export its values as well as the english language into russia.
it has a huge reach, it reaches a lot of young russians, teenagers and young adults. and it's seen as a way of appealing to the post—putin generation, trying to export to them values that they may miss at home. so losing the council is a major blow. how will britain respond to that? voting has begun in the presidential election in russia where vladimir putin is seeking another 6—year term. seven other candidates are also standing. meanwhile, police in salisbury, in the west of england, have renewed their appeal for witnesses following the poisoning of sergei skripal and his daughter yulia. around 400 people have been interviewed so far and investigators are trawling through 4,000 hours of cctv footage. health officials say detective sergeant nick bailey, who was exposed to the nerve agent, is making progress in hospital. duncan kennedy has the latest from salisbury. the tempo and scope of the police operation across salisbury remains intense and widespread. today, police issued theirfirst official photo of sergei skripal‘s
bmw, whose movements they want to trace. in their most comprehensive timeline to date, the police now say the car was first seen at 9:15am on sunday, 4 march, in the london road area of the city. at 1:30pm, it is spotted on devizes road. ten minutes later, the car arrives at sainsbury‘s, and sergei and yulia go to the mill pub. at 2:20pm, they visited the zizzi restaurant. and then, nearly two hours later, they are found violently ill on a nearby bench. it is nearly two weeks since the skripals left their home here, and today, the police revealed the full extent of their investigation. they've interviewed around 400 witnesses, gathered nearly 800 pieces of evidence, and are trawling through 4,000 hours of cctv footage. today the labour leader, jeremy corbyn, was in newcastle,
and repeated his call for more information on the nerve agent. the origins of the nerve gas appear to be russia, yes. that's why i've said the issue should be referred to the chemical weapons convention, and we should challenge the russian government on it. the nerve agent was identified at porton down, near salisbury. the russians have denied involvement. but downing street has now invited chemical weapons experts to carry out independent tests. it is likely that a team will come over to porton down. theoretically, they could do the analysis at the porton laboratories. i suspect what's more likely is they will take samples away, back to the hague. health officials said today they welcome the progress being made by sergeant nick bailey, who was affected by the nerve agent. sergei and yulia skripal remain in a critical but stable condition. duncan kennedy, bbc news, in salisbury. and just to remind you, for more detail on this story, you can go to the bbc
news app or website. there's this summary of what we know so far and details of the uk government's warning to exiled russians about their security. just go bbc.com/news. police in kent have arrested a man on suspicion of attempted murder after a car was driven into a nightclub building in gravesend. police say a number of people were injured. the incident is not being treated as terror related. in other news, syrian civilians at both ends of the country have been facing intense fighting over the last few days, and the un says there is likely to be more to come. a few miles from the capital damascus, regime—backed forces have nearly captured the rebel—held enclave of eastern ghouta, and thousands of people have been forced to flee the area. and in the north, as many as 150,000 people are fleeing a military operation by turkey, aiming to push out kurdish forces in the town of afrin.
andrew plant reports. 0n the road out of a friend, civilians now leaving the city 150,000 over the past few days on foot, carrying what they can —— afrin. this area of northern syria the latest battlefront in a country besieged by warfor seven the latest battlefront in a country besieged by war for seven long yea rs. besieged by war for seven long years. translation: we fled because of the airstrikes and bombardment by turkish forces. there is no united nations or international community. they fire at us with warplanes, mortars and bonds. what can we do? we had to flee to safer places. —— as you can see that our war and displaced people. our children are hungry and we have been walking for four days. thank god we have arrived
here full of further south on the outskirts of the maskos, eastern ghouta has been under siege since 2013 and in the last month, hundreds have died amid repeated bombings as the government tries to retake the area and drive out the rebel groups hiding here. this temporary shelter 110w hiding here. this temporary shelter now overwhelmed, this meant as his family fled as the syrian army forgers are processed. -- forces approached. translation: people were hungry. they were in good health, and they became thin. they beg for money. the rebels have a lot of money, and farms that cost millions. separated by hundreds of miles, these two syrian war zones are causing a mass exodus of civilians. it is thought as many as 12 million syrians have fled their homes. meanwhile, more than 400,000 are dead or missing. any buried beneath the rubble into dozens of towns destroyed by the conflict. andrew
plant, bbc news. let's take a look at some of the other stories making the news. germany's chancellor angela merkel and china's president xijinping have discussed overcapacity in world steel production. they've agreed to work within the g20 group of nations to find a solution. their telephone discussion comes shortly before president trump's new tariffs on steel and aluminium are enforced. both china and germany are big steel producers. at least three bystanders, including a baby in a pram, were killed by stray bullets during a shoot—out between police and a drugs gang in rio de janeiro on friday. the killings, in the alemao favela district, come a month after the brazilian military took control of public security in rio state to combat a wave of violence that has claimed 7,000 lives in the past year. an engineer left a voice mail two days before a bridge collapsed in miami, warning "some cracking" had been found in the structure, but added there were no concerns from a safety perspective. officials say the voice mail wasn't
picked up until after the accident on thursday in which six people were killed. the severe weather has brought with it some extremely high tides and in norfolk, that's left some clifftop homes in danger of falling into the sea. emergency services have been asking residents in the town of hemsby, near great yarmouth, to leave. louise hubball sent this report. this is just how close these homes are to the cliff edge. this, the most vulnerable, being checked by the coxswain of hemsby lifeboat. concerns were raised last night after an exceptionally high tide. this, one of six houses at risk. the owner here left yesterday evening. at the other properties, we just constantly visit them throughout the evening — or will do this evening — to make sure that they are safe, that they have got appropriate measures in place, they've got
a grab bag in the event that they decide to evac fairly quickly. in 2013, the largest tidal surge in 60 years saw three homes washed away in hemsby, and four so badly damaged they had to be demolished. now, a combination of factors has led to fresh fears. well, there are gusts here of up to 50 mph. that is damaging the sand dunes. it is also meaning that the sea can't fully recede, so that when there is high tide at 7:00, water levels will be higher than normal. there are a whole stretch of homes along this road, today all being visited by the police. there's 13 properties up there. six of them have got a good chance of going in the sea if the weather conditions stay as they are, and we've just been telling them to get ready to go, pack a bag. morris lives in one of those houses, intending to stay tonight because of his pets.
obviously, i had 90 metres between me and the sea when i first come here only two years ago, and now i've only got nine feet. so obviously, with the east wind, we desperately need a sea defence. within another year, these lot will disappear. that's an absolute guarantee. other residents told me off—camera they felt safe and weren't worried. these aerial pictures show the proximity of some of these homes to the edge. with high tide this evening, checks will be made on properties throughout the night. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: it gives a whole new meaning to going green — cities across the globe are awash with st patrick's day celebrations. today, we have closed the book on apartheid and that chapter. more than 3,000 subway
passengers were affected. nausea, fainting, headaches and the dimming of vision, all of this caused by an apparently organised attack. the trophy itself was on the pedestal in the middle of the cabinet here. this was an international trophy and we understand now that the search for it has become an international search. above all, this was a triumph for the christian democrats of the west, offering reunification as quickly as possible, and that's what the voters wanted. this is bbc news.
the latest headlines — 23 british diplomats are expelled from russia, its retaliation in the spy row with the uk, but that's not moscow's only move as it closes a consulate and the british council. aid agencies say almost 250,000 syrians have been driven from their homes in the last week, fleeing fierce fighting and air strikes from two separate offensives. the attorney—general in the us state of massachusetts is to begin an investigation into claims that information from millions of facebook users may have been used by a data company during the 2016 us presidential election. a former employee of cambridge analytica claims that 50 million profiles were accessed. the two companies deny any wrongdoing. our business correspondent joe lynam explains. this is all about protection of personal information and data. it all started with the creation
of an app four years ago by the university of cambridge. that app harvested loads of data from facebook users, 270,000, in fact. but in addition to that, their friends' as well, so you can see how it gets into millions. that information, which is very personal information, was then given to a company called cambridge analytica — unfortunate that the name is confusingly similar. and facebook ordered cambridge analytica to delete that personal information because it was in breach of their rules. in the last 24 hours, facebook said that you didn't delete all that information, and so we're now suspending you from facebook entirely, pending an investigation. in the meantime, as you've said, a facebook — a whistle—blower has come forward and said that 50 million facebook profiles were harvested from this app and used to target very specific messages in relation to the 2016 us presidential election. pro—trump and anti—hillary clinton messages. so, we have the attorney—general
in the state of massachusetts saying that she is going to launch an investigation. she said that the residents of that state deserved answers immediately. on this side of the atlantic, the information commissioner's office has said that it is also investigating the circumstances which facebook data may been illegally acquired and used for political purposes. the former deputy director of the fbi, andrew mccabe, has accused the trump administration of acting with "political malice" after he was fired just days before he was due to retire. an internal review concluded that mr mccabe leaked information and misled investigators — something he denies. president trump called his sacking a great day for democracy. a new campaign to clean up mount everest has started with 1,200 kilograms of waste taken to the nepalese capital,
kathmandu. the aim is to airlift 100 tonnes of waste from the world's highest mountain and the surrounding region, which was visited by more than 100,000 people last year. a private airline said it would continue to transport mostly recyclable waste like bottles, adventure gear and metal throughout the year. alan hinkes has been to everest on multiple expeditions. he explained how litter can be quite a problem. there is quite a lot of rubbish on the way up to base camp, not vast amounts, but there is some. the nepalese in that area, the sherpas are very environmentally aware, so they're cleaning it up. unfortunately, there hasn't been a proper disposal system there, like we have in first—world countries, so they are getting to grips with it now. there are lodges on the way up. the trek up is eight days form the airstrip where they are flying the rubbish out. on that 8—day trek, trekkers will drink bottles of beer and soft drinks and eat things
that are wrapped up and all that rubbish has to be taken out. at the moment, a lot of it isjust piled up, so, thankfully, they‘ re starting to take it out. an orchestra has become the first professional orchestra in the world to form an ensemble of disabled musicians led by a disabled conductor. james rose, who has cerebral palsy, uses a baton attached to his head as he doesn't have control of his arms. the orchestra hopes to prove disabled people can and should be more involved in classical music. james ingham has been to meet them at one of their first rehearsals. music, james says, ignite the ball of fire music, james says, ignite the ball offire in music, james says, ignite the ball of fire in his stomach. it is a passion he is always determined to pursue as a profession, to prove his disability is no barrier. james rose is on disability is no barrier. james rose isona disability is no barrier. james rose is on a unique training placement
with bournemouth symphony orchestra where he is fulfilling a long held ambition, creating and directing his own group of musicians. 0ne one of james ‘s 0ne ofjames ‘s mentors is roger preston who has been a cellist with the bfo for nearly 40 years. he recently became disabled as a result of cancer. while he still plays in the main orchestra, he is also part of the new ensemble. we don't want to be thought of as we are successful because we are a disabled ensemble. we want people just to listen to our musicmaking and think, thatis listen to our musicmaking and think, that is really good. probably most disabled people, if they could play a bit, would discount the idea of taking it further. it would be great to see a few more amateur people incorporated. it will have performed their own ensemble. it is great. the ensemble's professional musicians like siobhan, who is partially deaf, have all fought hard to get where they are today. we are united in
the musical talent to do it. i think he will do extremely well. finally, there have been festivities to mark saint patrick's day in cities around the world. from new york to nanjing, landmarks turned green and fans of irish culture turned out to celebrate. bill hayton reports. new york city claims to have the oldest st patrick's day parade in the world, starting in 1762. it's older even than the united states itself. they've had plenty of practice and it shows. today, more than 30 million americans, around 10% of the population, claim irish ancestry and march 17 is the day to come out and show it. in chicago, that means dying the river bright irish green. a secret formula turns the water emerald for the festivities — something that's now being copied
in the warmer climes of florida. meanwhile, one famous irish—american crossed the galaxy to be the very first international guest of honour at the parade in dublin. the great—grandmother of star wars star mark hamill was born in ireland in 1873. he saw a show that was big on myths and legends. legends were centrestage in other irish towns and cities too. according to the story, st patrick drove the snakes out of ireland. he had a bit of trouble driving this snake through the city gates of derry. in london, the duke and duchess of cambridge made the traditional presentation of shamrocks to members of the irish guards, and that included the regimental mascot — an irish wolfhound called domhnall. as night fell, green covered hundreds
of international landmarks from niagara falls to nanjing in china, they all had a drop of the irish. hgppy happy saint patrick ‘s day we will have the headlines shortly. you can get many more details on our top stories on the bbc website. this is bbc news. hello there. winter has returned with a vengeance this weekend. strong, cold easterly winds have already brought snow in places, our weather watchers have captured the scenes, this one from west yorkshire, this weather watcher picture from essex. and there is some more snow to come. let's look back at how things developed during saturday evening, from the radar picture you can see all these showers piling in from the east, but then an area of more significant, persistent snow that developed across the south—east. that continues to drift westwards and so we have three different met office amber warnings in force,
one towards the london area, one across parts of eastern england and the north midlands and one for the south—west of england and the south—east of wales. these areas most prone to seeing disruption from significant snowfall. this is how we start off the day, with this area of more persistent snow continuing to drift across england and wales, some snow showers elsewhere, widely down below freezing, so not only frost, but ice to take us into sunday morning. but it's all about the snow across these western and south—western areas during the first part of sunday, let's take a closer look. 9am, you can see the snow falling across devon, dorset, somerset, the bristol area, into east wales and the west midlands. that snow piling up and blowing around this strong easterly wind, could be some drifting snow in places. all the while, a feed of snow showers across the eastern side of northern england particularly, one or two clipping into the south—east of northern ireland and some showers across the eastern side of scotland as well.
further west, the western side of scotland not seeing showers, more sunshine, that is the theme as we go through the day. many of the showers in eastern areas will slowly but surely fade away, could be some brightness appearing towards the south—east later and the snow will pull away from wales but will keep falling across the south—west, 10—20 centimetres over high ground. windy for all and a bitterly cold feel. but we will lose this area of snow during sunday night. high pressure starts to build down from the north and we have a subtle shift in the wind direction as well. the easterly winds from the weekend will become more like northerly winds. northerly winds are never warm by any means, but they will be slightly less cold. so monday sees temperatures rising between 3—7 degrees with some good spells of sunshine. not a bad day. temperatures will continue to climb as we head deeper into the coming week, but after a dry start to the week, things will then turn much more unsettled.
this is bbc news. the headlines: russia's responded to the expulsion of 23 of its diplomats from the uk by giving the same number of british officials a week to leave moscow. it's also closing a british consulate and the british council in russia as the row over the chemical attack on a former russian double agent and his daughter continues. this week's fighting in syria has driven up to 250,000 people from their homes. 150,000 are reported to have fled a turkish military offensive in afrin in the north while tens of thousands have escaped the rebel—held enclave of eastern ghouta in the south. us officials are investigating claims that a political consultancy misused facebook users' data in order to support president trump's election. an ex—employee of cambridge analytica claims 50 million profiles were accessed. the companies deny wrongdoing. facebook has suspended cambridge analytica. now, if you're a competitor at the paralympic winter games